this is a page for

Category: Caregiving

Brain Cancer, Worry, and It’s Time to Put the Stopwatch Away

So much has happened since last fall — I have started to write what feels like dozens of posts just to have the circumstances change before I could complete the first paragraph of any of them. I wrote, what I wrote wasn’t the case anymore, et al. It makes me nervous to write this one now. Life as we know it, as you know, got ripped out from under us last September. Since then my mom has had the laser ablation surgery of her lesion and completed her six-week course of daily chemo and weekdaily (that’s not a word) radiation. It was tough on her. In the beginning of treatment, she’d drive over to my house, we’d go to the hospital, we’d have lunch. By the end, my aunt was staying with her many nights a week, and she ended up hospitalized twice–once via ambulance–in the last week of her course. She lost most of her hair and too much weight. She is wobbly and weak and chugs Gatorade and salt tablets because her sodium levels do not want to stay at healthy levels. She…

Update on My Mom’s Brain Cancer: Glio-BLAST-THAT-oma

There were six people in the room with the neurosurgeon yesterday when we met to discuss Mom’s biopsy results, if you don’t count my brother and sister-in-law who were FaceTiming from Sarah’s office in Wisconsin. Our family does love a party. My mom’s surgeon feels like a godsend. She is patient, and quiet, and takes time to answer questions and doesn’t once look at us askance when somebody inevitably says something ridiculous (I’ll save the examples to protect the guilty…er, me). She is knowledgeable and experienced and we already trusted her once, so when she came into that room and sat down and immediately told us some relatively positive news, we (after extensive ridiculous questioning) walked out of that meeting weirdly, pleasantly, buoyed. Let me back up a little bit: You know the Arnold Swarzenegger line in “Kindergarten Cop” where he says he has a headache, and one of the children tells him that it might be a tumor, and then he’s all, “It’s not a toomah! It’s not a toomah!” That line has…